Rose, 36. Four children aged 12, 11, 8, 3 months

“I was only 17 when Matt and I met and although I was a bit of a wild child I always wanted kids. I can remember asking him if we could have a baby when I was 18. Thank goodness he was sensible and talked me out of it. I did stay extremely broody, though. I think being an only child always made me crave a family unit.

We got married at 23 and got pregnant within 3 months with our first daughter. The following year we had another. Our third daughter came along three years later. Life got pretty difficult. She was a very unsettled baby who cried a lot and didn’t sleep well. We also both started new businesses. Our relationship was severely tested during this time. We were both sleep deprived, worried about money and working extremely hard. We decided we wouldn’t have any more kids.

Reflecting on it, I would say that Matt and I wouldn’t be together if it weren’t for the children. Maybe that is because we were always meant to be a family unit. Also, there have been many times when we didn’t give up on the relationship because of the children.

I am more in love with Matt now than when we were first dating. We have grown up together, raised a family together and just recently we did actually have another baby. A major difference with my new son is that he is very settled thanks to medication for reflux, which I wish we’d had for the girls.

Things are really good in our lives at the minute; business is going well, I’m at home a lot and the children are doing well. So our life is a lot easier, and there aren’t as many strains on the relationship. Hopefully we are not only older but wiser.

I would say that having children has ultimately strengthened my relationship. However, something happened the other day that unnerved me – I called Matt “daddy”!”

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